Entropy, Social Entropy and Carnot Cycles

… i tried to use the word entropy to describe a situation this morning and realized that i don’t really understand it… i duck, duck go the term and turn up this article in Wikipedia… from there i follow a link to the disambiguation of Entropy… where i find that in the study of social systems, entropy is the natural tendency for any such system to decay… and i think, that seems to be what we are in the midst of right now… the decay of our organizing democratic norms… i start to think i want to do more reading on entropy… at least come to understand it so that i can apply the concept more accurately…

… as i start to post this, a thought passes through my brain that is based on my perusal of Wikipedia articles on the Carnot Heat Engine and the Carnot Cycle, situated within the Wikipedia article on entropy… i read that the Carnot Cycle is a reversible process, that is, instead of heat being used to do work, a heat engine, work can be done to accumulate heat, a heat pump… the Carnot Cycle is reversible and thus, one can have a heat engine or a heat pump… heat engines enable heat energy to be converted to work… heat pumps use work to concentrate heat energy…

… now, in my feeble brain, i combine this idea with the idea of social entropy, which jumps me to social media, and i wonder, do you have something like Carnot Cycles in the operation of a social network?… that is, do social networks pump human emotional heat from one place to another?… is radicalization on social media a kind of social heat pump?… are then, events like the January 6 attack on the Capitol, the result of a social Carnot Cycle in which human anger is concentrated and then released in the form of an angry mob storming the Capitol?… do algorithms act as switches to determine which part of the Carnot Cycle is in operation, heat pump or heat engine?…

… we have learned from Frances Haugen, the FB whistle blower, that human anger was discovered by FB to be a powerful aggregator, much more so than love or empathy… their engineers created algorithms to use shared anger to congregate market segments where they can be sold to with pinpoint accuracy…

… it has always been that sex sells, but it appears that anger and hatred are very effective sales aggregators too… in a strict and unregulated market capitalist society, the system objective is to accumulate as much heat as possible and cause it to do work that can be realized as gain of capital… might it be possible to have a different type of social system where the emphasis is placed on the accumulation of positive human emotions and actions where social and planetary well being is the primary objective?… to create algorithms that consistently pump us in the direction of social well being?… hmmm…

Sex, Cats and Dogs

Mostly about cat porn…

… yesterday i shared an article on AI generation of cat images that seemed every bit as real as the images of cats posted by so many people on social media… it’s always been a little distressing to me that people can get more attention by posting and writing about their cats (and dogs) than anyone can get with most other kinds of posts… it’s click bate really… everyone loves a good cat (or dog) pic… i’m not sure images of newborn babies even do as well… well, i shared the article to FB and wouldn’t you know, it is tied with a post on the flowers in our front garden for the most views ever!… in one day!… i posted a selection of edited photographs from my walk earlier in the morning and shared them to FB at the same time… only four people brought to my site as a result… in addition to sex, we have to add cats and dogs to what sells…

First Thougths

… i have not had any alcohol at night for the past week…

… with no alcohol consumption, am i getting a sense of what my sleep patterns are without it?… for the past three nights i have gotten out of bed 5 ½ to 6 hours after i have gone to bed… is that the sleep i really need these days?…

… i go to have blood drawn today, finally… no reason to believe there is anything wrong, hopefully the blood panel will confirm that…

… i read an article about deleting your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram accounts… i bookmarked it… i’ve never spent much time on Twitter or Linked in, so deleting those accounts would not be such a big deal… Facebook and Instagram would be another story… for now, i have removed the apps from my phone and i haven’t checked either for days…

… i’ve also begun to unplug from daily TV news consumption… this is harder to do because H often has it on all day… yesterday i think i watched almost none… i preferred being in my studio, outside in the garden, in the kitchen making supper, or in another room reading news and articles on photography and art… i believe i am feeling happier…

… i am also beginning to rethink how i pursue my art and making it available for people to see… i will be working on developing a consistent monthly email… i will be working on building my email list… i will be working on sending portfolio publications to those i know in charge of galleries… one reason i may want to keep my toe in the water on social media is to be able to get the word out when there is a show or a new publication…

First Thoughts

… bird tweeting outside my window… not sure what kind it is but it starts singing well before the other birds do in the morning…

… no alcohol three nights running, generally feel better this morning and any morning where i haven’t drunk the night before… even modest amounts seem to have negative impact… have i lost tolerance for it?…

… i will have a blood panel done on Friday… i am nervous about it… i am always nervous about it… i always imagine that something bad will come back in the results… on the other hand, it will be good to be back in the routine…

… i have been following a line of thought in my head about being a Buddha… the base question being, can you be a Buddha without being known as a Buddha?… i have only skimmed the surface of Buddhism though it attracts me more than most religious systems do… i suspect the Buddhist answer to the question is “of course!”… and, possibly, “it is the preferred way!”… and possibly, “it is the only way!”… it may sound like a silly question, but i don’t think it is, especially when framed within a consumer society that places great emphasis on celebrity and accomplishment that people know about… if one were to loosely equate an instagram influencer with a Buddha, then the point is made clear… one of many things Buddhism is about is letting go of ego… for an influencer, having as many followers as possible is the goal, which is all about ego… that is, being known as an influencer, someone that should be listened to and emulated… my sense is that a true Buddha does not proclaim their Buddhahood, nor seek to have others proclaim it… a true Buddha does not seek followers… the world of people can recognize Buddhahood or not, and when recognized, they can learn from it or not… each of us has to decide to seek Buddhahood or not… if we decide to seek it, we do so because of what we might come to understand about ourselves and the cosmos… not because we will become renowned Buddhas…

… social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are built to addict people to a culture of liking and following… they lead us astray to anti-Buddhahood… the anti-Buddhahood of attention paid to me…

… i have been very susceptible to this anti-Buddhahood… i am changing that… i am withdrawing from Instagram and Facebook… i have removed their apps from my phone as of yesterday… i will only check in through my desktop computer, once a day at best… interestingly, today i received an email saying someone i know has posted on Facebook… i have never received an email like that before… the anti-Buddha beast senses my attempt to withdraw and is trying to suck me back in…

05 Reconstructing my blogging and social media world.

… today i set up a Mastodon account and toyed with feeding from my notesonattentionpaid.com blog into my Tumblr account…

… i also got lost in a thicket of how to’s and why this’s and not that’s about Micro.blog, trying to educate myself to how it works and what’s possible…

… i have a bit of a headache, though that has as much to do with overindulgence last night as it does with concentrating on the computer screen and learning…

… patience and perseverance will be required… it’s a new world to me, but the idea that i can reduce my interaction with Facebook and Instagram to a minimum is very attractive…

… i am thinking i will need to be a little more thoughtful about posts i make, if they are to make sense across platforms… i can feel the potential though… a new day is dawning…

03 Influencer

a review of Sweat, a new Polish film… the story about a social media influencer, exercise guru… it catches my attention because i make social media efforts, i crave followers… i don’t think i have more than 500 followers on any platform i post to… i want to be worth following, i want to be followed…

… as i write this i also know that followers and likes are the crack cocaine of social media sites…

… one of the things i love/hate about micro.blog is that i don’t know how many followers i have… i don’t know if my words are appreciated unless someone goes out of their way to let me know… there are no likes or hearts to appreciate with… you have to say something about it…

… my greatest mindfulness challenge is to give up the need for attention and just be… find joy in what i create, experience, because the here and now of my existence is enough in and of itself…